The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China issued a statement announcing that the country will continue to improve its visa policies and work on creating more favorable conditions to enhance cross-border travel.
The ministry’s announcement came a week after Chinese embassies and consulates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and other countries halted online visa appointments and switched to walk-in visa application services.
China’s new visa policy allows foreigners planning a trip to China to go directly to Chinese diplomatic missions during their operating hours and apply for a visa. After entering a visa office, the applicants are required to go through security screening, take a number and wait their turn. The service is provided on a first come, first served basis.
China has also signed visa-exemption agreements with Kazakhstan, Madagascar and other countries this year.
China has agreements on mutual visa exemption with over 150 countries, which enables certain citizens from traveling to China without a visa. However, for the majority of countries, visa-free arrangements apply only to diplomatic or official passports.
A few countries do enable visa-free travel to China for citizens holding ordinary passports. Citizens from these countries are allowed to travel to China without a visa for up to 30 days for the purposes of tourism, travel, business, and visiting family or friends.
These countries are:
Armenia The Bahamas Barbados Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Dominica Fiji Grenada The Maldives Mauritius San Marino Serbia Seychelles Suriname The United Arab Emirates
Citizens from the above countries will still need to apply for a corresponding visa to China if they intend to work, study, or settle in China, or intend to stay for longer than 30 days.